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Foam painting

What you need

  • A space for messy play
  • A tray or large piece of paper set out on the floor will be ideal (a wipe-clean floor surface will be needed!)
  • Shaving foam, food colouring or paint


Physical – gross and fine motor skills, the understanding of the connection between movements made and marks left, language through enjoying a fun, exciting sensory experience together.

The experience

It is best to have your baby in just their nappy, so they can get nice and messy! Ideally, they will be sat at the floor, with a large tray to ‘paint’ in. This is definitely best done in a room with a wipe-clean floor, as this will be a messy experience! Place the foam in small bowls – ideally, have a couple of different colours to choose from. Encourage your baby to get their fingers/hands into the coloured foam and spread it around on the tray. You could also tape the paper to the floor to spread and make marks on. 

Get involved yourself and model making big and small strokes on the tray/paper. Your baby will be excited to make marks! This is not only a great opportunity to mark-make and start building the connection between their movement and marks made (a vital part of the process of learning to write) but also an opportunity to develop language (sensory play really encourages your baby to babble, make vocal noises and want to communicate with you!) and gross motor skills through the big movements they will be able to make with their arms and hands.